A 500-year-old drawing by the Italian Renaissance painter Raphael has sold at an auction in London for £29.7 million – more than double the price it was initially valued at.
The sketch, Head Of A Young Apostle, was put up for sale at Sotheby’s by the Duke of Devonshire. Before its sale to an undisclosed bidder, the drawing had been on display as part of the Devonshire Collection at Chatsworth House, in Derbyshire, since about 1720, alongside 3,000 other pieces, including works by Rubens, Van Dyck and Rembrandt.
Raphael’s drawing, known as an “auxiliary cartoon”, was a preparation sketch for a figure in his Transfiguration masterpiece, which hangs in the Vatican Museum in Rome and is considered by some experts to be one of the most important Renaissance paintings.
Head Of A Young Apostle was initially valued at between £10m-15m.